Tour length: 8 days, 5-7 hours of walking per day
Difficulty: Medium Day 1 a relatively gentle climb to the lookout, then easy walking in forest. Day 2 a short beach walk and climb on well formed steps up to Conspicuous Cliffs to Rame Head and descend to Peaceful Bay. Day 3 small amount of pretty beach walking if paddling the inlet, if walking the sanded over inlet, it is a fairly easy beach walk along Quarram Beach, over firm sand dunes down to Boat Harbour. Day 4 easy day through sand dunes with afternoon relax. Day 5 Mazzoletti Beach good sand walking for two thirds then it narrows and we follow footprints making our way to the beautiful Greens Pool and elephant rock, gentle trail to the foot of Mt Hallowell, then gently up and around granite outcrops, through forest to arrive at Ocean Beach Rd, Denmark. Day 6 a gentle meander with descent to our campsite. Day 7 a beach walk day and we time it for low tide Day 8 a short beach walk and then a climb up wooden stairs at Mutton Bird Island for gorgeous views looking back to where we have come from, then continues over firm sand dunes, wooden walkways, generally easy walking.
Day prior to depart, 5pm onwards
Meeting place: Coalmine Caravan Park, Walpole
Here your tent, comfortable bed and group camp fire will be awaiting your arrival. TransWA bus runs to Walpole every day and we collect hikers from the Walpole bus stop. If you wish to drive down, we can arrange for secure vehicle storage for your 5 days of walking.
Day one: Coalmine Caravan Park to Tree Top Walk, Valley of the Giants 26 km
It is a gentle start leaving our campsite on the Nornalup Inlet and we stop at the lookout platform for wonderful views over the inlet in the pretty early morning light. We hike inland into karri and tingle forest, cross the South Coast Highway, and ascend gently towards the Hilltop. Our rest stop is at the Giant Tingle Tree tourist site. Here we can learn about these fascinating and unique associations of trees, plants and animals. We continue on the Bibb Track through some of the best karri, tingle and sheoak forest anywhere in the southwest. We have lovely glimpses into the Frankland River valley below and our next rest stop is at Frankland Campsite perched on this largely unspoilt river. The track meanders next to the Frankland River, crosses Sappers Bridge and re-enters the beautiful karri, tingle and sheoak forest to arrive at the Treetop Walk. The walk is worth the time, effort and small cost and there is also a free Ancient Empire walk to be enjoyed. We transfer to our comfortable campsite for the night.
Day two: Valley of the Giants to Peaceful Bay 27km
Early morning we descend to Giants Campsite and follow the Bibb Track to arrive at the stunningly big Princess Tingle Tree. We descend and cross South Coast Highway, then the track flattens and follows a disused railway line. After a small ascent, we rest at the lookout and enjoy the views east along the coast which are quite spectacular. We descend through an area which is recovering from bushfire with lots of new green growth to arrive at Conspicuous Beach. Here we rest on an elevated whale-watching flatform with great views over the beach and the bay beyond. After a short walk along the beach, we climb steeply, on steps, to a point close to the summit of Conspicuous Cliff. The track follows the cliff and has stunning ocean views until we descend to Rame Head campsite. From here we descend gently, walking past many small bays to arrive at the pretty sheltered settlement of Peaceful Bay, our campsite.
Day three: Peaceful Bay to Boat Harbour 22km
We depart our peaceful camp and today we are going remote and have two choices depending on the season.
Beach option: If the sandbar is in place on the Irwin Inlet, we have a stroll along the beach and then gently climb up from Quarram Beach. It is rugged but spectacular, with an almost endless stream of startling views along the coast in both directions, and inland over Owingup Swamp and the farmland further north. We finally arrive at Boat Harbour campsite and Boat Harbour itself, is one of the prettiest little bays anywhere on the south coast.
Paddle option: If the sandbar is not in place, then it is a very pretty trek up and down beside the Irwin Inlet to where the Bibbulmun Track canoes are stored. The paddle itself, is an experience, the Inlet is wide and so pretty with lots of bird life. The following walk through the “showgrounds” is unique in WA, with its flora and its unusual and friendly caramel-colored kangaroos. We descend to Quarram Beach, enjoy the remoteness of only accessible by walkers, then ascend and enjoy the many startling views along the coast until we reach Boat Harbour campsite. We descend to the calm swimmable waters of Boat Harbour, relax, then we are transferred a short distance to our campsite.
Day four: Boat Harbour to Parry Beach 11km
We depart from Boat Harbour following the dramatic coastline and then ascend and descend on coastal dunes covered in shrubs which often have stunning displays of wildflowers. On the last dune we look down over the expanse of Parry Bay. The track descends into the shady peppermint covered Parry Beach. Relax at our campsite and try your luck with fishing or just read and relax in this pretty little corner of the coast.
Day five: Parry Beach to Denmark 24km
Up early today, depending on the tides, as the first 7km is a beach walk on Mazzoletti Beach. We also have to cross Parry Inlet (either a sandbar in place, a wade or we transfer hikers around). At the end of this beach, we enter the William Bay National Park and the famous iridescent waters of Greens Pool. As the trail descends to Lights Beach there are numerous lovely views over William Bay, Madfish Bay, Lights Beach and the coast further afield. We turn north, through a farming property to ascend to Monkey Rock, a spectacular viewpoint high on the south side of the Mt Hallowell. A further climb through huge granite boulders and tall karri forest to finally descend down towards Denmark. On arrival at Wilsons Inlet it is a small hike alongside to our campsite at Ocean Beach Caravan Park.
Day six: Denmark to Shelley Beach 17.6km
After our transfer from Denmark to the Bibbulmun Track, we climb gently onto the coastal escarpment and enter West Cape Howe National Park. Expansive ocean views and views inland to the Porongurups, Stirling Ranges and even Mt Manypeaks east of Albany. So many photo opportunities, we take our time to immerse and meander.
Day seven: Shelley Beach to West Torbay 13km
This section of track also offers superb coastal walking, many panoramic vistas and passes through attractive coastal vegetation, granite outcrops and mature sheoaks to arrive at the idyllic Cosy Corner, Torbay. As we descend, we will be tempted to stop to rest on the white sand beach and perhaps to swim in the clear calm waters. We continue along the beach to Torbay Inlet and walk inland beside the waters to our small camp. The inlet makes for a rejuvenating freshwater swim. Also try your luck to catch a black bream.
Day eight: West Torbay to Albany 23km
The south coast beaches vary dramatically depending on the season and the prevailing weather. We cross Torbay Inlet along the sandbar, or we wade through shallow waters and continue along the expanse of beach to Mutton Bird Island. We climb stairs up to the lookout to enjoy the great views back along the expanse of Torbay and West Cape Howe. We stay up high along the weaving in and around the steeper ridges, with spectacular Southern Ocean vistas. There are many wooden seats providing welcome stopping points on the high ridges – the waters below are so clear, watch out for the dolphins surfing below. We enter Torndirrup National Park which produces a remarkable array of wildflowers and then turn north toward Albany. We enjoy views over Albany and the Princess Royal Harbour as we descend from the coastal dunes onto Frenchman Bay Road. The track continues along the foreshore into Albany.
Optional: The trail today is relatively easy, hence you will find the 23km will pass before you know. For those wishing to officially walk every step of the way to the southern trailhead in Albany, it is a further 7.3km along the Princess Royal Harbour.